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David Bednar's recent conference talk is said to have been plagiarized


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17 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I don't expect any kind of acknowledgement, let alone an apology (see President Oaks's opinion about apologies). What I find interesting is why Elder Bednar was quoting a leader of an obscure, fringe religious group. How does one even come across such stuff?

I agree that we have been conditioned to expect NO kind of apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing but that's the problem ;) 

I think it is positive that Bednar is engaged in reading, studying and being aware of non-LDS religious thinking. That is a good thing IMO. It doesn't bother me at all where he may read or gain his inspiration for his talk. It is interesting that it is such a fringe group which makes one wonder if he was more hesitant to attribute the thoughts out of some sort of embarrassment. IDK

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9 minutes ago, Senator said:

Makes me wonder just how much they rely on speech writers?

Reminds me of a story I heard when I was an editor at the church office building. Marvin J. Ashton used to have his secretary "clean up" his conference talks, meaning she thoroughly rewrote what he gave her. One conference, he gave a talk that everyone around the COB thought was disjointed and nearly incoherent. Turns out the secretary was on maternity leave, and the temp had passed on his draft unchanged.

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12 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I agree that we have been conditioned to expect NO kind of apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing but that's the problem ;) 

I think it is positive that Bednar is engaged in reading, studying and being aware of non-LDS religious thinking. That is a good thing IMO. It doesn't bother me at all where he may read or gain his inspiration for his talk. It is interesting that it is such a fringe group which makes one wonder if he was more hesitant to attribute the thoughts out of some sort of embarrassment. IDK

I have a close relative who is a general authority, and based on his experience, I doubt Elder Bednar has much time to be studying stuff from the church of the great God. I'm guessing a staffer found the quote. But who knows?

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4 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I have a close relative who is a general authority, and based on his experience, I doubt Elder Bednar has much time to be studying stuff from the church of the great God. I'm guessing a staffer found the quote. But who knows?

Maybe. I don't discount that possibility but it's not like it was just a one line quote out of context. IF Bednar allowed a paragraphs worth of content and ideas into his talk without any awareness of it, that would strike me as a bit out of character in that it sounds super lazy. Are the GA's getting pulled in multiple directions? Sure. But General Conference talks are THE time they get to address the entire church. It is their moment of highest visibility to make an impact, or for the more cynical, build their theological legacy. If GA's approach conference as just another task and allow speech writers and staffers to shape their address to such a major degree I think we should all really step back and think about the role of the Q15 in being spiritual leaders to the church and the world.

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3 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Maybe. I don't discount that possibility but it's not like it was just a one line quote out of context. IF Bednar allowed a paragraphs worth of content and ideas into his talk without any awareness of it, that would strike me as a bit out of character in that it sounds super lazy. Are the GA's getting pulled in multiple directions? Sure. But General Conference talks are THE time they get to address the entire church. It is their moment of highest visibility to make an impact, or for the more cynical, build their theological legacy. If GA's approach conference as just another task and allow speech writers and staffers to shape their address to such a major degree I think we should all really step back and think about the role of the Q15 in being spiritual leaders to the church and the world.

I have no idea what process anyone uses for writing a talk. I just thought it was weird that he'd quote so heavily from such a fringe religious leader. 

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

I think it's great as well.  I don't know if it was more hesitance or not knowing.

Awhile back  I found a wonderful quote for a blog post I was writing about refugees.  I knew I wanted to use it because it conveyed so well what my topic was about. 

I was interested enough that I looked the man up to see what more he had to say.  That's when I discovered he had been involved in some sort of sex scandal and knew the quote couldn't be a part of a post about refugees.

I think a lot of times people don't look into things so he might not have known it was a fringe group or maybe just might have been ok with it.

My guess on the talk after looking at it is that he put the talk together on his computer with the references.  Then after working through decided to change order on some things and forgot he didn't keep the Reid parts together. So he copied and pasted different paragraphs here and there. Or decided to add some more after writing the bulk. That's why you get the strange attribution in the middle. The way he attributed to Reid there instead of early on just reads odd when knowing the other stuff is Reid's above it so it's hard for me to see how he would have done it that way without the process I described.

But yes, a tweet like described above would have been really good.

Good points.

I think what's different on this though is it doesn't seem he was looking for a quote that made the point he was trying to make. Rather, the quotes seem to be the basis for a specific interpretation of a parable. That would seem an odd thing to search for, especially when as a special witness of Christ, his audience would have naturally been more inclined to his interpretation. In other words, why search for someone else's interpretation for an idea he already had, unless he truly hadn't had the idea before, right? In which case the attribution problem seems to be a bigger deal.

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5 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Good points.

I think what's different on this though is it doesn't seem he was looking for a quote that made the point he was trying to make. Rather, the quotes seem to be the basis for a specific interpretation of a parable. That would seem an odd thing to search for, especially when as a special witness of Christ, his audience would have naturally been more inclined to his interpretation. In other words, why search for someone else's interpretation for an idea he already had, unless he truly hadn't had the idea before, right? In which case the attribution problem seems to be a bigger deal.

I don't really see him quote searching.  That was just my example of not finding out more info about the source.

I've no idea how it all came about. I do know I can get stuck in a rabbit hole searching stuff though.  One thing leads to another. So I might search for a quote Elder Uchtdorf said about change on google since search on the church website is not great. Before I know it I have "search for hebrew word for arm", "read The Martian Chronicles" and watch "calligraphy on pottery" on my list of things I want to do.

Then a few months later something in that pottery video comes to mind when I'm getting ready to teach a lesson.  It just makes sense to me after my experience that he could come across different things.

 

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13 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Seriously? So Bednar, who was contacted by the press had no comment, but is going to respond to a letter? When the church explicitly discourages contacting general authorities directly. Surely you joke. 

Honest first reaction was, that doesn’t sound right. Read the article, and thought honest mistake, but typical church behavior. Silently correct, get defensive, don’t apologize. Then I read the thread. Members who didn’t read the article point out the footnotes that were added as proof plagiarism didn’t happen. One particular member with a background in journalism essentially called it fake news by suggesting snopes should debunk it. I see additional posters talking about how Elder Bednar probably wasn’t even responsible for the footnotes. This left me incredulous. I was taught that General Conference was to be treated as scripture for our times and somehow the author of such scripture isn’t somehow responsible for its content is patently absurd to me. So I posted. 

Because we have all the facts we need and all the facts we will get. The church does not apologize. Elder Bednar’s talk was issued with 28 footnotes. Four paragraphs in the talk were basically copied and pasted (with minor word changes) from Reid. These paragraphs weren’t cited. These paragraphs weren’t sequential. There were footnotes in between. There is no editing error that I can conceive of that would remove four non sequential footnotes. So that leaves two options. Bednar made a mistake, or there is a malicious church employee that decided to take four of five Reid footnotes out. I find the latter extremely implausible. 
 

And the idea that Bednar is not responsible for ensuring the proper citations in his talk because he delegated it to an underling is simply a non-starter for me. It’s his talk. His name is on it. It’s his job. 
 

The only things wrong here, are one, the lack of acknowledgement by Bednar, taking ownership for what must have been a simple easy to make error. And two, the knee jerk defensive reactions from certain defenders here. 

I used to think President Eyring’s “open quote” and “close quote” was a bit of overkill, but maybe he has a good point.

Quote

I wish the first word I ever said was the word quote, so right before I die I could say unquote. ~ Steven Wright.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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On 10/12/2022 at 11:41 AM, Kenngo1969 said:

Goodness, gracious!  I'll bet (or at least, I would if I were a betting man ;)) that there's a story behind that!  I look forward to being regaled with tales of your travels! :D  (Enjoy the kimchi!) ;) And may they be safe travels, My Friend.  May they be safe travels.

May I pm you?

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13 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

May I pm you?

I haven't been able to receive PMs here in years.  I don't know what the problem is.  I would say it's a "mailbox" full of PMs, but since I haven't even been able to access that for years, I couldn't say.  Try this instead: Feel free to reach out to me at [redacted].

Nos "vemos" Hno.! 

Chao!

-Ken

Edited by Kenngo1969
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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I haven't been able to receive PMs here in years.  I don't know what the problem is.  I would say it's a "mailbox" full of PMs, but since I haven't even been able to access that for years, I couldn't say.  Try this instead: Feel free to reach out to me at _______ (I'll edit this once I know you got the address: It probably won't be a problem to leave it up, but one cannot be too careful.)

Nos "vemos" Hno.! 

Chao!

-Ken

I PM'd it to him so you can take it down now if you want.

Edited by Rain
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I tried reaching out to Kenngo a couple of weeks ago about his blog post he directed us to. Unfortunately, I too wasn't able to leave a PM. I have the same problem with smac. Is there any way you guys can pm me about how to reach out to you both?

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22 minutes ago, Rain said:

I PM'd it to him so you can take it down now if you want.

Thanks!  Truly, you are a Queen Among Women! ;) :D   I appreciate your help!

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23 minutes ago, Rain said:

I PM'd it to him so you can take it down now if you want.

 

4 minutes ago, Vanguard said:

I tried reaching out to Kenngo a couple of weeks ago about his blog post he directed us to. Unfortunately, I too wasn't able to leave a PM. I have the same problem with smac. Is there any way you guys can pm me about how to reach out to you both?

 

1 minute ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Thanks!  Truly, you are a Queen Among Women! ;) :D   I appreciate your help!

Hey, Rain, I know you're not my secretary (which is why I hate doing this to you: I should have just left my email address up there a while longer) but since I've already edited my post to Bernard, do you mind PM-ing my email address to Vanguard, as well?! ;) 

 

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6 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

 

 

Hey, Rain, I know you're not my secretary (which is why I hate doing this to you: I should have just left my email address up there a while longer) but since I've already edited my post to Bernard, do you mind PM-ing my email address to Vanguard, as well?! ;) 

 

No problem!  Funny, at book club they were saying I should be the book club secretary today.

Done.  

Just know you still have it in your post though.

Edited by Rain
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1 hour ago, Rain said:

No problem!  Funny, at book club they were saying I should be the book club secretary today.

Done.  

Just know you still have it in your post though.

Thanks.  I appreciate it very much.

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